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July 11, 2014
12:08 EDTLO, RAI, BTI, ITYBYLorillard jumps after confirming buyout talks with Reynolds
Cigarette makers Lorillard (LO) and Reynolds American (RAI) confirmed earlier today that they are holding talks about a possible acquisition of Lorillard by Reynolds. Wells Fargo predicted that the deal could be announced as soon as today or early next week. WHAT'S NEW: Lorillard and Reynolds American are holding discussions about a potential acquisition of Lorillard by Reynolds, the two companies stated this morning. The U.K.'s Imperial Tobacco (ITYBY) said that it had held talks with Lorillard and Reynolds about buying assets from them. British American Tobacco (BTI), which has a 42% stake in Reynolds, expects to buy additional shares of Reynolds if the latter company acquires Lorillard, Reynolds reported. The British company would maintain its existing stake in Reynolds if it does buy Lorillard, Reynolds added. ANALYST REACTION: In a note to investors earlier today, Wells Fargo predicted that an acquisition of Lorillard by Reynolds could be announced as soon as today or early next week. The firm continues to believe that there is a 90%-plus chance of the deal taking place. Wells expects Reynolds to pay a 20% premium to Lorillard's closing price yesterday of $63.09. It reiterated Outperform ratings on both names. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Lorillard climbed 4% to $65.50 and Reynolds fell 2% to $61.
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